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Pele incurs Brazilian fury

LONDON: Few would argue he was right to choose himself.

But Pele angered his countrymen on Thursday by leaving three famous World Cup teammates off his list of the best living 125 football players.

The three-time World Cup winner had 15 of his countrymen, the most of any nation, in his list which has been compiled as part of FIFA's Centenary celebrations.

But Jairzinho, Tostao and Gerson, three of the stars of Brazil's memorable 1970 World Cup triumph, were missing.

Pele's defence was that there were too many Brazilians to choose from.

“I did my best,” he told reporters. “I asked if we could have 1,000 players but I was told it should be only 100. I could have picked 100 from Brazil.

“I tried to make as few mistakes as possible.”

But Gerson wasn't impressed, appearing on a Brazilian sports television programme tearing up a piece of paper as if it were Pele's list.

“I respect his opinion, but I don't agree,” Gerson said. “Taking off Zidane, Platini and Fontaine, I'm behind 11 Frenchmen? This is a joke to have to hear this.”

Other surprises were the inclusion of Senegalese striker El Hadji Diouf – a virtual unknown before the 2002 World Cup – and Dutch midfielder Clarence Seedorf. Scottish star Dennis Law, England World Cup hat-trick hero Geoff Hurst and Italian striker Sandro Mazzola were among the omissions.

Pele was only allowed to choose players who are still living. It was initially to be a list of 100 to celebrate the centenary of FIFA – 50 current players and 50 retired. But Pele asked FIFA if he could increase the retired list to 75, hence the grand total of 125.

Although Pele selected 1970 World Cup winning teammates Carlos Alberto and Rivelino, he was criticised in Brazilian papers for leaving out Jairzinho, Gerson and Tostao. They were among the stars of probably the best Brazilian line-up put together.

By contrast the list had five of the Brazilian team that won the World Cup in 2002.

While the list includes 15 Brazilians, Italy and France each have 14. There also are 13 Dutch players on the list, 10 Germans, 10 Argentines and seven English.

The only Americans on the list are women – Michelle Akers and Mia Hamm. No other female players were included.

“When I came up with the name Mia Hamm and the midfielder Michelle Akers, everyone was a little surprised,” Pele said.

“But women's football in the world is very important. We have the World Cup, the United States are world champions twice. This confused the people who were working with me but it was my choice, my idea.”

Pele selected current Brazilian stars Ronaldo, Rivaldo, Roberto Carlos, Cafu and Ronaldinho, who won the World Cup in 2002. Former stars Rivelino, Carlos Alberto, Romario, Zico, Falcao, Socrates, Djalma Santos, Nilton Santos and Junior also made his list.



THE CONTROVERSIAL LIST

ARGENTINA

Gabriel Batistuta
Hernan Crespo
Mario Kempes
Diego Maradona
Daniel Passarella
Javier Saviola
Omar Sivori
A di Stefano
Juan Sebastian Veron
Javier Zanetti

BELGIUM

Jan Ceulemans
Franky van der Elst
Jean-Marie Pfaff

BRAZIL

Carlos Alberto
Cafu
Roberto Carlos
Falcao
Junior
Pele
Rivaldo
Rivelino
Romario
Ronaldinho
Ronaldo
Djalma Santos
Milton Santos
Socrates
Zico

BULGARIA

Hristo Stoichkov

CAMEROON

Roger Milla

CHILE

Pablo Figueroa
Ivan Zamorano

COLOMBIA

Carlos Valderrama

CROATIA

Davor Suker

CZECH REP

Josef Masopost
Pavel Nedved

DENMARK

Brian Laudrup
Michael Laudrup
Peter Schmeichel

ENGLAND

Gordon Banks
David Beckham
Bobby Charlton
Kevin Keegan
Gary Lineker
Michael Owen
Alan Shearer

FRANCE

Eric Cantona
Marcel Desailly
Didier Deschamps
Just Fontaine
Thierry Henry
Raymond Kopa
Jean-P Papin
Robert Pires
Michel Platini
Lilian Thuram
Marius Tresor
David Trezeguet
Patrick Vieira
Zinedine Zidane

GERMANY

Michael Ballack
Franz Beckenbauer
Paul Breitner
Oliver Kahn
Jurgen Klinsmann
Sepp Maier
Lothar Matthaus
Gerd Muller
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge
Uwe Seeler

GHANA

Abedi Pele

HOLLAND

Marco van Basten
Dennis Bergkamp
Johan Cruyff
Edgar Davids
Ruud Gullit
Willy van de Kerkhof
Rene van de Kerkhof
Patrick Kluivert
Johan Neeskens
Ruud van Nistelrooy
Rob Rensenbrink
Frank Rijkaard
Clarence Seedorf

HUNGARY

Ferenc Puskas

IRELAND

Roy Keane

ITALY

Roberto Baggio
Franco Baresi
Giuseppe Bergomi
Giampiero Boniperti
Gianluigi Buffon
G Facchetti
Paolo Maldini
Alessandro del Piero
Alessandro Nesta
Gianni Rivera
Paolo Rossi
Francesco Totti
Christian Vieri
Dino Zoff

JAPAN

Hidetoshi Nakata

LIBERIA

George Weah

MEXICO

Hugo Sanchez

NIGERIA

Jay-Jay Okocha

N IRELAND

George Best

PARAGUAY

Romerito

PERU

Teofilo Cubillas

POLAND

Zbigniew Boniek

PORTUGAL

Rui Costa
Eusebio
Luis Figo

ROMANIA

Gheorghe Hagi

RUSSIA

Rinat Dassaiev

SCOTLAND

Kenny Dalglish

SENEGAL

El-Hadji Diouf

SPAIN

Emilio Butragueno
Luis Enrique
Raul

SOUTH KOREA

Hong Myung-bo

TURKEY

Emre Belozoglu
Rustu Recber

UKRAINE

Andriy Shevchenko

URUGUAY

Enzo Francescoli

USA

Michelle Akers
Mia Hamm



Is this list a joke? There are plenty missing. Should a couple of Americain women be placed on a list of all time greats. El Hadji Diouf is on the list!!! Missing of some note are Jimmy Greaves. Is Michael Owen really better? I for one think this list is a joke.
 

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No Suarez for Spain? No Finney or Matthews for England? Keven Keegan!!! Ronaldinho over Leonidas? Tresor, Papin, Trezeguet!...Pele's gone way too politically correct:yuck:
 

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The list is irrelevant, was made for a FIFA party but lots of names are not there simple because:

Only players that are alive
and 50 of those players must be playing yet.

other than that (and the need to include in a world party names from the entire world) it is just a list...
 

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All of this is crap anyway, oh wow Pele is naming some of the greatest players ever so he must be right!!! hes chosen Kluivert for Gods sake, that alone prooves how much crap it is!!!
 

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should pele say he is one of the best? (of course we all agree to this.) i mean it seems not so polite to regard himself as one of the best.
 

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He's either clueless or trying to satisfy everyone. I mean, he obviously had to put several Africans in (Diouf? Roger Milla? Abedi Peleh?) or Asians (Bo and Nakata?). And let's not even go into the two American girls...

It's probably both. He was one hell of a player, but he's entirelly stupid.
 

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JCamilo said:
Only players that are alive
and 50 of those players must be playing yet.
This is the biggest problem, right there. Nobody... and I mean NOBODY... would be able to come up with a respectable list of "100 best players ever", having to conform to those two demands. Simply because there is NO way you'll find 50 players currently playing who qualify as members of any "top 100".

Don't get me wrong, I think the list is stupid too... but NONE of us here in Xtratime would do any better than Pele did, having to squeeze in 50 current players. It's a recipe for failure, simple as that. Either you list the 100 best ever... or you make a list that includes 50 current players. You can't have both.

The moment FIFA demanded that 50 of the "top 100" should be current players (obviously to please sponsors, there is no other explanation) the list was doomed to irrelevance. ;)
 

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No I don't think it's a joke. It's not even that funny anyway
 

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did anyone see Georgie Best at the ceremony? everyone had a collar and tie on,but George turned up in a scruffy rag of a shirt and that dirty old parka he likes so much. :cool:

i thought he was a homeless for a minute begging for change,shocking how he has let himself go,he used to be a bit of a snappy dresser back in the day. :(

Fred,Stan Matthews is dead :depress: no-one can tell me Michael Owen and Kevin Keegan are better strikers than Greaves and Law though ;)
 

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The goal Owen scored V Argentina is what gave him world acclaim. He scored it at 18. I can sorta see where Pele is coming from, but I don't rate him as a pundit at all.
 

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Garrincha said:
This is the biggest problem, right there. Nobody... and I mean NOBODY... would be able to come up with a respectable list of "100 best players ever", having to conform to those two demands. Simply because there is NO way you'll find 50 players currently playing who qualify as members of any "top 100".

Don't get me wrong, I think the list is stupid too... but NONE of us here in Xtratime would do any better than Pele did, having to squeeze in 50 current players. It's a recipe for failure, simple as that. Either you list the 100 best ever... or you make a list that includes 50 current players. You can't have both.

The moment FIFA demanded that 50 of the "top 100" should be current players (obviously to please sponsors, there is no other explanation) the list was doomed to irrelevance. ;)
100% agree
 

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Garrincha said:
This is the biggest problem, right there. Nobody... and I mean NOBODY... would be able to come up with a respectable list of "100 best players ever", having to conform to those two demands. Simply because there is NO way you'll find 50 players currently playing who qualify as members of any "top 100".

Don't get me wrong, I think the list is stupid too... but NONE of us here in Xtratime would do any better than Pele did, having to squeeze in 50 current players. It's a recipe for failure, simple as that. Either you list the 100 best ever... or you make a list that includes 50 current players. You can't have both.

The moment FIFA demanded that 50 of the "top 100" should be current players (obviously to please sponsors, there is no other explanation) the list was doomed to irrelevance. ;)
100% correct...:)
 

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Garrincha said:
This is the biggest problem, right there. Nobody... and I mean NOBODY... would be able to come up with a respectable list of "100 best players ever", having to conform to those two demands. Simply because there is NO way you'll find 50 players currently playing who qualify as members of any "top 100".
Yet you still cannot possibly ignore the politically correct bullsh!t oozing from his list. To me it is obvious he just has to squeeze some Asians, Africans, even Americans on the list. Can't you come up with a better player who is still playing than Nakata, Seedorf, Bo, or Recber? Or someone who has stopped playing that is better than Roger Milla (by the way, the ONLY reason this guy is known is because he was really old and he made a nice sub for Cameroon in one and a half world-cups). And let's not go into the American girls...

Sorry Garrincha, but this list is laughable. Everyone would be able to come up with a better list as long as they were willing to recognise that hey, it just so happens that the best 50 footballers are either from South America or Europe, with the VERY odd exception.

Yet Pele couldn't. Which is why he is stupid.
 

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I am sorry, but the political correctness is bullshit ? Because FIFA, a worldly organization does want a wordly wide list ? I am sure, lets put just south americans. Its easy to do. If FIFA wants a party, she does need a party with everyone, that is clear and that is behind the list...
Telling the list is political is like telling the stars shine - its a list made for FIFA, a Political Organization.

Now, You say its laughable...Seedorf is really that ridiculous to be in the 50 active players ? Is it laughable ?
 
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